SL beat Pak to reach World T20 final

Discipline Sri Lankan bowlers powered the hosts to the final of the 2012 World Twenty20 as they beat 2009 champions Pakistan by 16 runs in a low-scoring thriller at Premadasa stadium in Colombo on Thursday.

Sri Lanka will meet the winner of second semifinal between Australia and West Indies in the summit clash on Sunday.

Rangana Herath derailed Pakistan’s chase as he dismissed danger man Mohammad Hafeez and Shahid Afridi in quick succession to reduce Pakistan to 91/6.

Earlier, Ajantha Mendis gave Sri Lanka first breakthrough as he bowled out Imran Nazir (20) after a steady start by Pakistan in their chase of 140.

Angelo Mathews then trapped Nasir Jamshed leg before wickets and got Kamran Akmal caught behind the stumps to hurt Pakistan’s chase.

Herath then joined the party by getting rid of Shoaib Malik.

Herath stretched the show further in the 15th over by quick wickets of Hafeez and Afridi.

Pakistan restricted Sri Lanka to a modest 139/4 in their semifinal clash at the R Premadasa stadium on Thursday.

Some 35,000 fans at the Premadasa stadium watched Sri Lanka struggle to force the pace after Mahela Jayawardene elected to take first strike on a sluggish pitch that hampered stroke-making.

Sri Lanka plodded to 123-4 in 19 overs when Thisara Perera smashed three boundaries in the final over bowled by seamer Umar Gul which realised 16 runs.

Openers Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan put on 63 in 10 overs, a slow start by Twenty20 standards but crucial nevertheless for Sri Lanka still had all their wickets in hand.

Jayawardene liberally employed the reverse sweep during his knock of 42 off 36 balls, but was caught at fine-leg while attempting the same shot off leg-spinner Shahid Afridi.

Kumar Sangakkara made a promising 18 from 11 balls when he was snapped up on the long-on fence as he tried to hit Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez out of the ground.

Gul was unlucky to see the TV umpire declare a no-ball after he had Jeevan Mendis given out leg-before in the 18th over.

But Gul removed Dilshan two balls later with another leg-before decision that made Sri Lanka 117-3.

Dilshan was unusually subdued during his innings, taking 43 balls to score 35 with the help of three boundaries.

Australia and the West Indies will clash in the second semi-final on Friday. The final is scheduled for Sunday.

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